Western Animation: El Tigre
El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera
(2007-2008) is an animated series on Nickelodeon
created by a husband and wife team, Jorge Guitirrez and Sandra Equihua. It is about a 13-year-old Mexican boy, Manny Rivera, who has a magical belt that turns him into costumed superhero El Tigre (Spanish
for 'The Tiger
). It is the 23rd entry in the Nicktoons
Unsure of whether he's destined to be a hero like his father, White Pantera, or whether crime is his true calling, like his grandfather Puma Loco, Manny refuses to pick one side over the other
. He alternately contributes to and opposes the seedy goings-on of his town, Miracle City (described in the opening sequence as "a spicy cesspool of crime and villainy
") with the aid and companionship of his best friend, Frida Suarez.
Although Manny is mainly good to appeal to young viewers, he frequently disobeys his honest and heroic father and partakes in "bad" acts (e.g. buying the tattoo maker, kicking the crutch that kept Casa De Adios up and thus demolishing it).
Sadly, despite predominantly positive feedback (even winning several Annie and Emmy awards)
, the show only lasted 26 episodes before it was cancelled. Fortunately, you can watch the entire series here
for free, or purchase the entire season on DVD right here.
Due to its connection through its creators to the The Book of Life
, Nicktoons brought the show back for an encore airing in October of 2014.
This series contains examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo: EL Tigre has been seen shooting out straightened versions of his claws as projectile ammunition.
- In another, once mentioned example, the Flock of Fury's goose cannon.
- Action Mom: Well, Maria with her Plata Peligrosa powers, anyway. Also, Voltura.
- Action Survivor: Frida, who's been captured enough times by Sartana that she has her "usual" cell in Sartana's hideout, but has moments of cunning like jamming Sartana's mystic guitar with a potato so that the backed-up energy causes it to explode.
- Affably Evil: Puma Loco. Other villains tend towards a less sincere version of this trope.
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Manny keeps trying to impress a bunch of reoccurring girls (he usually fails.)
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Zebra Donkey, the school's mascot. Yes, believe it or not, there really is such a thing as a zebra-donkey hybrid. They're commonly referred to as "zedonks". And just like Zebra Donkey, they are really, really cute!◊
- Ambiguously Amoral: In one episode Manny steps through a portal designed to tell if someone is a hero or villain. It explodes!
- Amusing Injuries: Manny and Rodolfo frequently suffer these, including comically broken appendages, missing teeth, and eyes going the wrong directions.
- Animal Theme Naming: El Tigre, Puma Loco, White Pantera, etc.
- Also the Aves family, Lady Gobbler, Voltura, and Black Cuervo.
- Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Manny can shade between either sides.
- Anticipatory Breath Spray
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: El Mal Verde, Monsterzuma, Sartana's giant undead monstrosities, Giant Robot Sanchez... the list just goes on.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!!: Frida suffers from this constantly.
- Audible Gleam
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He may be in a wheelchair, but Don Baffi, the leader of the Moustache Mafia, has the deadliest 'stache of them all.
- Ax-Crazy: About 99.9% of the cast at some point, but notable examples are the Titanium Titan and Platna Pelgrosa.
- Badass Bystander: The three geeky kids from "Party Monsters" might be asthmatic LARPers, but they had the guts to stand up to The Mafia.
- Badass Family: His grandfather, father, and his mother at some point have all shown impressive superpowers. In 'A Grave Escape' it seems superpowers are mandatory in the Rivera family.
- Point of fact it appears that the Rivera family has alternating generations of heroes and villains. Puma Loco (villain)'s father was Justice Jaguar (hero), whose father was the Mighty Cheetar (villain) and so on and so forth back to the first El Tigre who went insane trying to decide whether to be good or bad.
- Actually, almost all of the super villains in this series have villainous family members. The Aves family, the Chipotle scientists, Sartana and Django, General Chapuza and Che, etc. Sergio and El Oso are first generation villains, but it seems traditional for the younger villains to be the successors of their parents. Note that El Oso has a little bear "brother" as well.
- Badass Mustache: Raul the mustache is literally this, and the Mustache Mafia use theirs as weapons.
- Also, Rodolfo, under his mask.
- Bandito: Puma Loco, and a number of smaller-time villains.
- Bears Are Bad News: El Oso.
- Beautiful All Along: Played around with in "Mustache Love". When Sophia (already considered pretty) loses her unibrow/Browsia, she becomes even more beautiful (though still sounds and acts the same). Subverted with Manny who looks pretty much the same without the mustache, but Sophia finds him repulsive.
- Bee Afraid: In "Oso Sole Mio," El Oso and Frida are both stung by bees at different points.
- Berserk Button: A whole lot of them.
- Do not call a Rivera anything that is the equivalent of the word "coward". Bad, bad idea.
- Along with this, never do/say anything to question or tarnish a Rivera's honor/pride in general.
- Also never tell a zombie they cannot dance.
- Also never ever harm Manny around his mother. Just don't.
- Or lie to her like Dr. Chipotle, Sr. did. She will flip her shit.
- It should be noted that Maria's more bark than bite when compared to the rest... but still, don't make her angry.
- Never call the Golden Eagle Twins' Zeppelin a blimp (Carlito especially).
- If you hurt Frida when Chief Suarez is around, pray for mercy.
- Sartana doesn't like it when people steal from her.
- And don't mess up Dr. Habanero's nam-
- Better as Friends: Played With. Much to Rodolfo's chagrin, his ex-wife Maria keeps insisting that they should remain Just Friends. She divorced him because she couldn't endure seeing him get hurt as a superhero; she has also shown to be jealous when another woman is interested in him and flirtatious when in her hero form, Plata Peligrosa. Subverted in the end, where she remarries him after he retires from heroing
- Between My Legs: Of Maria in the episode "A Mother's Glove".
- Also of El Oso in "Sole of a Hero" and El Tigre in "Fistful of Collars"
- Big Bad: Sartana of the Dead. There are countless villains in Miracle City, but Sartana is The Heavy in the long-term on the show.
- Big Fancy House: Most of the 'casas' on the show, but especially the house Maria built for her weekends with Manny.
- Big "NEVER!": Puma Loco says this in "Puma Licito" when Rodolfo commands him to take the stolen police station back.
Rodolfo: Papi, take it back now!
Puma Loco: NEVER!!
- Big "NO!": In a lot of episodes, mostly done by Manny/El Tigre.
- Manny actually managed to do this for a few hours straight until everyone got tired and went to bed (according to Frida). He also managed to make even an astronaut hear him a few times.
- Bilingual Bonus: El Mal Verde? In Spanish, Mal and Verde mean "green" and "evil" — so literally, his name is The Green and Evil One.
- Black Comedy: A few instances here and there.
- Blood Knight: Plata Peligrosa, out of control.
- Brick Joke / Chekhov's Gun: During "Miracle City Worker", Dr. Chipotle, Sr. offhandedly confesses he is allergic to churros. We see Frida utilize this during the climatic fight throughout Maria's mansion; then during the heartwarming (somewhat sappy) ending, Dr. Chipotle comments he is going to be sick, and cue Frida stuffing his piehole with a churro, causing an allergic reaction not unlike Rodolfo's in "Fool's Goal."
- Brought Down to Normal: Every time a villain snatches his belt, Manny is completely helpless.
- This happens to all the Rivera men in 'No Belt, No Boots, No Brero', due to a court order. The alternative was time in an onion mine.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": The letter T on the El Tigre belt.
- Bumbling Dad: Rodolfo is a good father, but he's a bit of a dork sometimes. Especially in the presence of his lady love, Maria.
- As a crime-fighting maverick, on the other hand, he's the real deal.
- Butt Monkey: Some days, Rodolfo just cannot catch a break. Usually, though, he will break out of this trope before the end of the episode.
- Bus Full of Innocents: Spoofed; "Mrs. Chequita! Pushing a baby carriage! Pulling a box full of kittens!"
- Burping Contest: One between Manny and Zebra Donkey (in fact, this example provides the page quote) and once between Manny and Frida, who tried to pass their belches off as "a study on alternative gas sources" for science class.
- By-the-Book Cop: Frida's father, Police Chief Suarez.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: "EL TIGRE!!!"
- And so on for pretty much every other hero/villain with an alter ego.
- Call Back: In "El Tigre, El Jefe," White Pantera rebuilds the city dump's old ramshackle office into a shiny new recycling center after Siniestro destroys it. It reappears whenever the dump is shown after that, until Maria accidentally kicks a Giant Robot Sanchez into it in "The Return of Plata Peligrosa."
- Cardboard Prison: A Running Gag, which is frequently lampshaded by El Oso. This is also a plot point in one episode, where Manny's mother decides that the revolving door on the prison is ineffective and tries to rehabilitate criminals instead.
El Oso: "Can we speed this up, I want to break out in time for dinner!"
- Calling Card: Puma Loco has one. It's a red-hot brand that says "Viva Puma Loco!" that he burns into his crime scenes.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Every villain on the show, especially Puma Loco.
- Cat Girl: Frida when she was La Tigressa. Manny/El Tigre and the other Rivera hero/villains are male examples.
- Catch Phrase
- "It's a fact!" "Vendetta!" "SWIIIINE!"
- White Pantera's "Okay, be good!" Which, almost always provokes Manny to do the opposite.
- Let's not forget, "THIS, I SWEAR!"
- Carmelita Aves/Voltura often insists that she broke up with Rodolfo/White Pantera. When reminded that he broke up with her, she cries out "AS IF I COULD FORGET"
- Charles Atlas Super Power : Being Raised by Wolves (or bears), or at least, attempting to keep up with them, El Oso became so strong and tough he is the series' strongest Bad Ass Normal, capable of trading punches with super strong heroes like White Pantera.
- The Chew Toy: Manny. Not an episode goes by that he goes through some slew of Amusing Injuries, sometimes impossibly over-the-top amusing injuries, and the universe seems to enjoy putting him through the wringer for humor's sake. If the episode calls for someone to go through extreme bad luck, you can be it will be Manny (and in fact several episodes almost entirely deal with hilariously bad things happening to him over and over). Frida sometimes gets it merely through being around him as well.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Word of God states that Manny and Frida become this sometime after high school.
- City of Adventure: Miracle City.
- Clark Kenting: Parodied. When not superheroing, Rodolfo wears a "disguise" of a unassuming brown suit, fedora and glasses that he doesn't need, just like Clark Kent. Despite everyone in the city knowing who he is, and that he's the superhero White Pantera. Also, note that he does so while wearing his superhero mask underneath the glasses.
- Comes Great Responsibility: Rodolfo frequently does this to Manny.
- Cool Hat: Puma Loco's Sombrero of Chaos along with his ancestors' sombreros, which all turn into powerful mechas. Other characters also posses weaponized hats.
- Cool Old Guy: Grandpapi
- Clothes Make the Maniac: Maria's Plata Peligrosa glove which gives her an exponentially increasing danger mania (coupled with desire to not remove the glove) the longer she wears it.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Manny's entire family gets their super powers from articles of clothing or accessories:
- Manny's El Tigre belt buckle.
- Rodolfo's Bronze Boots of Justice.
- Puma Loco's Golden Sombrero of Chaos.
- Maria's Plata Peligrosa glove.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right : Albino Burrito's weaponry; all of it is based on Mexican games, toys and dances, and apparently useless, plus activating them makes him seem like a complete dork... but every single time, in the end, they prove to be extremely powerful One-Hit Kill weapons.
- Cyborg: The Chipotles each have a metal left arm and an electronic right eye, so they might count.
- Dance Battler: In "Dia De Los Padres" it's revealed that White Pantera invented "Pantera Bando", which has the fighter dancing The Nutcracker in order to best an enemy. El Tigre winds up having to perform it in order to save him, pink tutu/headband and all.
- Dark Action Girl: The Flock of Fury are an entire family of them.
- Dating Catwoman: Puma Loco with Lady Gobbler, then Rodolfo with Carmelita/Voltura, and then Manny with Zoe Aves/Black Cuervo... it seems to be genetic.
- For added humor, Lady Gobbler is Voltura's mother, who is Zoe's mother, paralel to Puma Loco, White Pantera and Manny.
- And for even more humor, it's the cat-themed protagonist Rivera family dating the bird-themed antagonist Aves'.
- Also, Puma Loco and Sartana. Despite both being villains, Loco has mellowed out with age while Sartana remains a very dangerous and competent Big Bad who wants to kill his family.
- Weirder than any of them, the woman who Puma Loco married and had White Pantera with? She was the Chief of Police!
- The Dead Can Dance: The Zombies of Zombietown are excellent dancers, and it is a great insult to tell them otherwise.
- De Face Of The Moon: Sartana does this with her mystic guitar in "The Good, The Bad and The Tigre" to carve her own face.
- Deflector Shields
- Devil in Plain Sight: The Golden Eagle Twins.
- Dia de Los Muertos Episode: The Grave Escape.
- Disaster Dominoes: Pretty much every time Manny goes El Tigre in the school library.
- Disembodied Eyebrows:
- Browsia, of course
- But also Manny and Rodolfo when their expressions call for it.
- Distaff Counterpart: La Tigresa, when Frida stole Manny's belt.
- Divorce Is Temporary: Rodolfo is still madly in love with his ex-wife Maria, who left him because she can't handle seeing him endangered as White Pantera. It turns out that way when Maria remarries him.
- Dramatic Drop: Maria drops her beautiful "One Week Without Evil" cake when she discovers there was a supervillain throwdown in her house while she was out getting it.
- Drunk on Milk: Manny, in despair of being unable to grow a moustache, drinks multiple milkshakes in a bar-like setting.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The villains among the Rivera line still consider their heroic counterparts (and in-laws, presumably) to be family, and fight other villains who threaten their families. Outside of them, the Aves family evidently love each other, as do other villainous families.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Puma Loco draws the line at hurting your own family. Also, Don Baffi doesn't mess with true love.
- All of the super villains present were horrified when El Tigre gave Dr. Chipotle Sr. a wet willy.
- More along the lines of being jerks then outright evil, Frida's Drill Sergeant Nasty twin sisters, much like their father Chief Suarez, draw the line at anyone who tries to hurt their little sister.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: Rodolfo is so well groomed that his clean shaven jaw sparkles. He also wins the "Best Groomed Hero" award and sparkles whenever his grooming is mentioned.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: Zombietown, and particularly the occasion where Frida begins to succumb to the zombie on her head.
- Eviler Than Thou: Sartana to the other villains in Miracle City, especially in "The Good, The Bad and The Tigre".
- Evil Laugh: Every villain, of course. And for a hero, Plata Peligrosa has a pretty good evil laugh.
- Evil Versus Evil: All the time. Generally, it's a way for Manny to have evil episodes but still not seem too bad.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Sartana of the Dead. Take a guess at what her theme is.
- Expressive Hair: Manny's white tufts as El Tigre react to his moods. It spikes up when he's angry, and droops when he's sad.
- Fan Boy: The Albino Burrito is this for El Tigre, complete with the stereotypical get up, the constant stalking, and really wanting to become El Tigre's side kick.
- Fallen Hero: Titanium Titan was White Pantera's sidekick before he turned evil.
- Fastball Special: This has been utilized by El Tigre and his family on occasion with the epic results, notably the "Caliente Catapult of Carnage" and the "Super Macho Blitz." However, Manny does tend to have trouble with stopping, one time almost falling into the volcano if he hadn't crashed into Sr. Chapi.
- Feathered Fiend: The Flock of Fury, a group of bird-themed villainesses.
- Eye Color Change: When Manny turns into El Tigre, his eyes shift from chocolate brown to an emerald green color.
- The Family for the Whole Family: The Mustache Mafia
- Flying Brick : Plata Peligrosa.
- Full Name Ultimatum: Both parents have done it plenty of times, though on one occasion White Pantera's was interrupted by almost drowning.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Dr. Chipotle Sr. and Dr. Chipotle Jr.
- Genki Girl: Frida. In fact, viewers in Asia are labeling her the "Latina Haruhi Suzumiya".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "The Mustache Kid", one of the adult-restricted activities that Manny and Frida want to do is enter into an establishment called "The Salsa Club". Seeing that it specifically denied entry to those under 21, had a tough-looking bouncer, and even got destroyed before we could get a look inside the place...I don't think that was a mere dance club our mischievous duo were trying to gain access to.
- Also, in "Burrito's Little Helper" when Davi said he didn't know either of the monsters was a girl it sort of implied that Manny might have smooched a male monster and the two monsters were a homosexual pair.
- "Return of Platna Peligrosa" has Manny freaking out when Rodolfo wants to ask Maria (who has been under the glove's influence) out to coffee. This is usually code for/leads to the a couple having sex, but the show tones it down by saying Rodolfo just wanted to go on a date.
- This episode also kind of sends a "don't make any romantic/sexual advances towards anyone under the influence" message in regards to Rodolfo and Maria.
- Referring again to Platna Peligrosa, the way she gets a hold of the glove (at a college party) and the way she gets when she wears it is obviously a metaphor for some kind of drug.
- Manny dressing up as a pimp in "A Fistful of Nickels".
- "Animales" has the Riveras going out to a bachelor auction for the night; we don't see how the event itself went, but all three of them come home looking roughed up and Rodolfo calling the woman animals.
- The mayor (who was holding the event) uses the money that was meant to charity to buy a diamond pimp hat.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Sartana, Django and the rest of the undead skeleton army.
- Goggles Do Something: Frida's come into handy during the Rivera-Flock of Fury fight in "Eye Caramba", as she slingshots them into a satellite, knocking it off its hinges and trapping the Flock...just as one of Gobbler's egg bombs comes loose.
- An earlier example in "Enter the Cuervo" when she uses them to reflect a Black Cuervo laser blast meant for Manny.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Manny has a big scar over his left eye, cause by himself on accident during his first fight/first uses of his powers.
- So... good or evil?
- The trope page mentions that scars of that type can go both ways. Much like Manny.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Or possibly Translation Convention. Stills sounds odd.
- Great Big Book of Everything : Maria carries or summons any book she needs to make a point about practically any topic, making herself a walking Great Big Library of Everything.
- Green Eyes: Manny gets these when in costume as El Tigre. Also can be seen on the original El Tigre. Possibly a reference to the Ancient Tiger spirit employed by both El Tigres, which itself emits light of the same shade of green.
- Grind Boots: Utilized by many characters (hero and villain) during fights, or in everyday situations. Taken at a literal level by El Tigre and White Pantera, whose alter egos utilize actual, spurred Western style boots to do this, and while they fight. Like White Pantera, Justice Jaguar
- Hairpin Lockpick: Throughout the series, multiple items including El Tigre's claws, Frida's spike bracelets, and a bird's beak have been used to open locks.
- Handicapped Badass: Don Baffi is confined to a wheelchair, but woe betide anyone who gets in a fight with him.
- Hartman Hips: Carmelita/Voltura, Maria (especially as Plata Peligrosa)...
- Heart Symbol: Rodolfo when his undying love for Maria is especially close to the surface.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: El Cucharon was regularly mocked for his power of spoon-based telepathy and turned to villainy. When Maria bolsters his spirits by reminding him of how special he is, he's the only one out of himself, El Oso and Dr. Chipotle, Sr. to make a true Heel-Face Turn, not only rescuing El Tigre and Frida, but stopping El Oso and Chipotle's robbery attempt by burying them with every spoon in Miracle City.
- Hebephile: Senor Siniestro seems to be one of these to those who don't know he's really the thirteen-year-old Sergio. That includes (or consists entirely of) the audience.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Manny could've been the poster boy of this trope.
- Heroic RROD: Maria's Glove which makes her particularly Ax-Crazy the longer she wears it.
- Henshin Hero: Manny uses a special belt to transform from his secret identity to his superhero form. He also only possesses his super powers while in his superhero form.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Manny has come pretty close to pulling this on a few occasions, and so has Frida in "The Ballad of Frida Suarez". Implied to have been played straight with Justice Jaguar who died performing the Blitz, then subverted with Zebra Donkey (who was brought back to life...again) and Chui (if that actually was Chui and not an offspring).
- High Dive Hijinks: In "The Good, The Bad, and The Tigre", one of the events in the tournament of evil, there's a high dive into a pool of lava. White Pantera (pretending to be evil as Black Pantera), treats it like an ordinary high dive, right down to putting on a swim cap.
- Hot Librarian: Maria.
- I Call It "Vera": When Manny gets an animated, sentient moustache through the power of Mad Science, he names it Raul. Raul eventually leaves to live a life of his own, including becoming a crimefighter in his own right.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin: Maria with the Glove of Power. A flashback even shows she first got it when mystic items of power were getting passed around at a college party and she decided to experiment.
- Also parodied with Frieda and bubble-wrap.
- I Can See My House from Here: As Manny and Frida dangle from The Golden Eagle Twin's blimp(Zeppelin!)
Frida: AHHHHH! Hey, i can see my house from here. AHHHH!
- I Lied: In "Miracle City Worker".
Maria: You said you wanted to change.
Dr. Chipotle Sr.: We lied. Dr. Chipotle Sr. advises you to deal with it.
Maria: DEAL WITH IT!!!!
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: On one memorable occasion the shot of Manny shatters and falls away to reveal the next scene.
- If I Can't Have You: This is both Sergio's and Diego's response to realizing that Frida could never be with one of them.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Frida, frequently.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: When Raul the moustache is turned to evil by Dr. Chipotle Jr., Manny is willing to die at its "hands", but Frida sings a song called "Remember the Good Times, Raul". It's only partly successful.
- Insult Backfire: Manny tells the mayor of the zombie town that he smells like bad cheese made from goat vomit. The Zombie mayor reacts as if this were the sweetest and most kind compliment.
- I Taste Delicious: Dr. Chipoltle Jr.'s guacamole monster apparently likes to eat itself. With nachos.
- Just a Stupid Accent: Despite ostensibly taking place in Mexico, all the characters speak English with Mexican accents.
- Just Eat Him: Multiple examples:
- In one episode Sartana creates a huge bone monster that eats the Riveras and Frida, but they manage to bust their way out using the Caliente Catapult of Carnage.
- In another, a gigantic creature called the Dragonworm devours Manny (who happens to be the last ingredient that will make the Dragonworm "invincible"), but Rodolfo beats the tar out of it, believing it to be fake until he rescues Manny, and finds he's covered with real dragon spit.
- In another, Manny intentionally jumps into the gullet of Dr. Chipotle Jr.'s guacamole monster in order to destroy it from within using some kind of all-powerful guacamole.
- Kangaroo Court: As part of a gag super villain El Oso falls into a court room through the roof, and the first person to speak is the judge, who immediately says guilty. El Oso for some reason says "Well at least I got a fair trail man."
- He is supposed to be in jail. Merely being there means he must have broke out, which is a crime.
- Karma Houdini: The Golden Eagle Twins, brother and sister who take advantage of their superhero fame to scam the locals into getting whatever they want. Despite Manny and Frida beating them in a fight and destroying their zeppelin ("IT'S NOT A BLIMP"). The city still supported them, none the wiser to their true natures. Worse, Manny ended up getting hospitalized and arrested for destroying a statue of them.
- Kryptonite Factor : The zombies are vulnerable to Dark/Black Water, a substance that can only be found at the fountain right in the middle of their own hometown. When El Tigre uses it against pretty much every zombie in the city, General Chapuza, right before getting destroyed, questions the wisdom of the zombies making their residence right around their only weakness; some Fridge Brilliance here, actually, since anyone trying to get the zombies' weakness would need to face them all first.
- Lamarck Was Right: The families of the setting, Rivera and otherwise, keep a lot of traits within the family.
- Lampshade Hanging "It's like you kicked a puppy... a lost, unemployed puppy... with a cold."
- Leitmotif: A few beyond general themes - Manny has the main theme, naturally.
- Grandpapi has a theme from Carmen that generally plays when a scene is about him.
- Black Cuervo episodes begin with a particular tune that indicates the episode will be about her and Manny.
- Legacy Character: El Tigre I and the rest of the Rivera ancestors function as this.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: One of the more prominent elements is a rather pronounced recurring parent-child contrast within the Rivera family.
- Puma Loco is a Evil Genius supervillain who primarily uses technology and his Transforming Mecha. His son White Pantera is a superhero who is a physical fighter who uses magical boots to aid him. This setup is actually a recurring theme that seems to skip generations. Dark Leopard and Mighty Cheetar are villains with mech-suits similar to Grandpapi, while Golden Leon and Justice Jaguar are heroes, with boots similar to those of White Pantera. Bearers of the El Tigre belt, meanwhile, seem to have a hard time picking a side. Despite these differences in alignment, every member of the Rivera family has a deep familial love and respect for one another.
- Outside of the Rivera family there is Frida Suarez. Frida is a troublemaker who in more than one occasion is the one who encourages Manny to partake in more bad acts. Frida's father is the ever strict no nonsense law-abiding Chief of Police of Miracle City and Frida's mother from what little was shown of her, pretty much shares her husband's police viewpoints. Despite the contrast, hurting Frida is enough to set at least her father's Berserk Button off.
- Limited Wardrobe: Taken to extremes in the Bad Ending, where Manny and Frida pretty much wear the exact same clothes well into old age.
- Living Lie Detector : White Pantera's Bronze Boots of Truth, besides giving him Super Strength and Super Speed, also forces anyone in direct contact with them to tell the truth. However, since direct contact is necessary for this power to work, White Pantera can still be fooled/tricked if the liar doesn't touch the boots.
- Longing Look
- Look Behind You: Parodied.
Dr. Chipotle, Jr.: Look, a thing!
Frida: Where? (Turns around, then realizes Chipotle ran away) Aw, man!
- Also, in "The Return of Plata Peligrosa"
Rodolfo: Look, a danger!
- Loves My Alter Ego: Played straight and Inverted. With Maria Rivera, she loves Rodolfo, but cannot stand seeing him hurt as long as he is White Pantera, which is why she left him and restrains her feelings. Word of God says they remarry when Rodolfo fully retires.
- Love Cannot Overcome: Played With. Maria did not mind being married to superhero White Pantera (Rodolfo) and according to Manny, found it cool; she then saw him seriously hurt for the first time and seeing him consistently get hurt ultimately made her leave him, unable to see him like this. This is a little strange considering that she herself used to be a superheroine (though the item she used also drove her increasingly erratic). Word of God says she remarries him when he retires from superheroing.
- Love Hungry: Can count for both Diego and Sergio, as they are both seen as willing to go to EXTREME lengths to try and gain Frida's affection. Sergio even once says straight out (to her face, no less) that he is thankful for her BREATHING in his direction.
- Made of Iron: Frida...how else could you explain her getting pummeled by the Titanium Titan, getting crushed by Giant Robot Sanchez and surviving a high-velocity launch into the side of the Miracle City Volcano without so much as a scratch?!
- Honestly, this could apply to the entire population of Miracle City. Kicked Up to Eleven with Manny.
- Magic Skirt: Frida, even when being flat out hunt upside-down.
- Mama Bear: Maria.
- Masked Luchador: Several characters wear outfits somewhat reminiscent of this, including El Tigre and especially White Pantera.
- Mayincatec: Dark Leopard was a villain in a stone mech-suit who clearly lived in Mesoamerican times.
- Meaningful Name: "Aves" means "poultry/bird" in Spanish. Need I explain?
- "Albino Burrito" at first doesn't seem to make sense with Davi's get up to Non-Spanish speakers, but burrito actually translates to "little donkey" (donkey=burro).
- Manny's name was chosen because it has the word "man" in it, highlighting the machismo he's trying to live up to along with the very human dilemma of facing good vs. evil decisions.
- Fun fact: "Manuel" also translates to "God is with us".
- Two of his middle names are the creators' last names.
- Mood Motif:
- Feeble Fanfare plays whenever an awesome thing is revealed in pathetic condition.
- There's always rocked-out Mexican versions of "La Cucaracha" or "Mexican Hat Dance" with electric guitar whenever Frida and Manny are having or imagining making mayhem.
- The Strings of Suspense play when it looks like Manny must choose between joining Sartana and Django of the Dead or saving his family.
- There's a Romantic Strings riff of the last phrase of the El Tigre theme song as Black Cuervo admits she's not entirely over her crush on El Tigre.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: In the episode "Love and War" when Sergio (Senior Siniestro) and Diego (Dr. Chipotle Jr.) team up to try and destroy Manny, because they think that he and Frida are so close, they'll never have a chance while he's in the way.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Frequently used by Sartana during "The Good, The Bad and The Tigre".
Villains of Miracle City! ...and White Panthera.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Manny never seemed to get Dr. Chipotle Jr's last name right, much to the latter's chagrin.
- Necromancer: Sartana of the Dead, who is a skeleton herself. In fact, anyone who manages to get her mystic guitar can raise the dead, as shown in 'Zebra Donkey'.
- Noble Demon: Grandpapi.
- Nobody Calls Me Chicken: A Rivera trait.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In "Tigre + Cuervo Forever", when Zoe/Cuervo finds out that Manny only dated her to get the lowdown on the Flock's heists, she's heartbroken and completely ticked off. When he tries to make it up to her by saying he'll let her win their fight, she absolutely demolishes him, kicking him through three yachts and capping it off with a three-person BFG blast that scorches Tigre and Pantera and sinks the President's golden yacht. Do NOT mess with Cuervo's feelings.
- Other characters will sometimes manage this, a couple of examples being Emiliano beating the crap out of the Mustache Mafia and El Tigre going bat-shit crazy with the Cactus Kid's cacti army.
- Not So Different: Manny and Django, to the point that some fans have theorized Django being Manny in an earlier life.
- As it turns out, this might not be so much of a coincidence: According to a picture on the creator's DA account (and some comments), Manny and Django might possibly be half-cousins!
- Not-So-Harmless Villain : Cactus Kid; at first, it seems his only power is making little cacti to dance until both Manny and Puma Loco make him so angry he accidentally triggers his full potential, now being capable of summoning huge cacti, with blade-sharp thorns, that he can control at will, even making them shoot the thorns at his enemies.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sometimes. Whether or not Frida has a Mexican accent varies line by line: sometimes Grey DeLisle gives her one, most times she doesn't bother.
- Opening Narration: "Miracle City! A spicy cesspool of crime and villainy..."
- Opposed Mentors: Manny had his dad, the hero White Pantera, and his grandfather, the villain Puma Loco.
- Overly Long Name: Manuel Pablo Gutierrez O'Brian Equihua Rivera.
- Panthera Awesome: All the Riveras are named after one big cat or another. But in Spanish!
- Papa Wolf: Most of White Pantera and Puma Loco's most badass moments stem from the need to protect Manny.
- Chief Emiliano Suarez, Frida's dad, too. When the Mustache Mafia went after her, he curb-stomped them...for eight hours...AND HE WAS GOING EASY ON THEM!
- Peek-a-Bangs: Zoe
- Pie-Eyed: A rare modern example being played straight and not as an homage to 30's cartoons.
- Pirate: Mighty Cheetar, the "Scourge of the Seven Seas".
- Power Glows: El Tigre I and Manny summoning the Ancient Tiger Spirit. Also whenever El Tigre's been flung into the air at a high speed (turning him into a green human fireball).
- Police Are Useless: For a long time it seemed like Chief Suarez was this. Villains were constantly busting out of jail and Manny or Rodolfo had to put them back. Then the Mustache Mafia threatened his daughter and he proceeds to spend several hours beating the shit out of them.
- The rest of the force, however, play this straight.
- The Power of Love: Played with at the end of "Zebra Donkey" - the titular creature is brought Back from the Dead for a second time this way through a combination of Sartana's mystical guitar and the love of children.
Frida: It must have been the guitar string!
Man: And the love of you children!
Frida: ...but mostly the guitar string.
- Prehensile Hair: Manny's sentient mustache Raul, as well as Sophia's sentient monobrow.
- The Mustache Mafia too, of course.
- Puppy Love: At the end of Season 2 Frida kisses Manny romantically.
- Pstandard Psychic Pstance: El Cucharon has the telekinetic ability to control spoons, and he must make the gesture to do so.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: The Aves family towards the Rivera family.
- The Quisling: Apparently, Dark Leopard betrayed his people and sided with Cortez' invading forces, later marrying a conquistador woman — hence why his heroic son Golden Leon is dressed in conquistador garb.
- Raised by Wolves: Parodied and subverted with El Oso. He was, technically, raised by bears, in that his whole life he followed around a family of bears that wanted nothing to do with him and tried with extreme failure to copy them. This included trying punching a beehive open to get the honey inside (and getting stung for his trouble), trying punching water in order to catch fish (and getting attacked by a fish for his trouble), and trying to scratch his back on a tree like the others by punching a twig (and getting smashed by a fallen tree... inexplicably). The bears, incidentally, spend the whole time trying to get rid of him.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: All the villains on the show. Including the child villains.
- Rocket Punch: El Tigre thankfully never combined with the Wolverine Claws.
- Running Gag: Manny's desire for a jetpack and Maria hyperventilating when faced with something stressful. One episode also treated Sartana capturing Frida as one of these.
- "Curse you, Dr. Eugene L. Butterman!"
- A specific store called Manuel's Jewelry always getting robbed whenever there's a crime spree, and often when there isn't as well. The gigantic diamond display on the top of the store will also invariably be destroyed somehow.
- Manny really needs that T-Belt... because his pants fall down at the slightest provocation, revealing Goofy Print Underwear.
- Raul the World's Greatest Mustache ending every episode he's in by ripping off of Manny's face in the most painful way possible. Lampshaded by Frida in his last appearance.
- "Okay, didn't see that'a coming."
- Sadist Teacher: Vice principal Jacal
- Samurai: The Seventh Samurai.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Puma Loco bribing the football referee.
- Secret Identity: Sergio/Senor Siniestro, Diego/Dr. Chipotle Jr., and Zoe Aves/Black Cuervo all have separate civilian and villain forms. Diego is the only one whose villain form is his default, as we only see his disguise in one episode.
- Shout-Out: Just in case you didn't know, Frida and Manny's names are based on real-life Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and hubbie Diego Rivera.
- Someone on production must be a Street Fighter fan, because a few characters from the games can be seen as background students at Manny's school in some episodes, such as Chun-Li, Cammy and Remy (from Third Strike).
- The name Super Macho Fighters II should make that clear enough.
- Frida's puppet show: "So then the rabbit said to the hunter, 'No, I'm a duck.'"
- Manny uses his belt to transform into El Tigre. Shotaro Ishinomori would be proud...
- One episode has Manny and Frida visit El Oso's lair, where his twin brother is watching "tv" - really a rock with a crude picture of Yogi Bear drawn on it.
- Later in the same episode, Manny and Frida try to lure a group of bears to follow them with a picnic basket. It works.
- Sartana of the Dead's first name sounds suspiciously similar to that of another latin guitarist.
- The Silver Sombrero is an homage to Mexican wrestler El Santo .
- The episode in which Raul, the world's greatest mustache first appears has Manny enjoying the adult life, including working at stapling some very important TPS reports.
- The Seventh Samurai's name is a reference to the film Seven Samurai and, by proxy, The Maginificent Seven.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: The Silver Sombrero angry at the monster that ate Manny for not letting him finish his speech.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Sergio (Senior Sinestro) and Diego (Dr. Chipotle, Jr.) develop this for Frida. It's especially apparent in "Wrong and Dance", where the bad girls whom Manny tried to ask to the dance end up falling for Sergio, only for Sergio to rebuff them, calling them "not-Frida girlies."
- Skeletal Musician: Sartana of the Dead has a guitar with mystical powers.
- Ditto for her grandson, Django.
- Slasher Smile: Several of the villains, but especially the Titanium Titan, who rarely doesn't have his face stretched into a jagged, toothy, creepy grin.
- El Tigre himself on occasion.
- Sleepwalking: In Puma Loco's case, he believes he's been "sleepgooding" when his evil reputation has seemingly done a complete 180, unknowingly thanks to Manny and Frida.
- Spaghetti Western: Invoked. Manny's school, Leone, is named after Sergio Leone, director of the Dollars Trilogy (which also gets a pair of episode-title refernces: "A Fistful of Collars" and "A Fistful of Nickles". Likewise, Django and Sartana of the Dead are named after two protagonists from the genre.
- Let's not forget the most obvious one: "Sergio" is the name of the cowboy-themed super-villain. The Italian cowboy-themed super-villain.
- Spit Take: Puma Loco, on seeing headlines indicating he has become a great hero, loved by everyone in Miracle City.
- Spiritual Predecessor: To The Book of Life
- Stalker with a Crush: Rodolfo's former sidekick, Titanium Titan, is completely obsessed with Rodolfo.
- Stock Sound Effects: There's a few that you're bound to hear at least once an episode, including certain anime-style slashing sounds, an Audible Sharpness sound that's often used before something explodes, and a couple of commonly-used fart sounds that accompany everything from a garbage truck dumping out shredded trash goop, to a robot dog farting out a battery.
- There's also a "warping" sound effect used for laser and the like which got a lot of memorable use in the old The Fantastic Four (1967) animated show.
- Sartana's mystic guitar being played makes the exact same sound as El Kabong's guitar.
- Zoe Aves' communicator makes the exact same sound as the ones in the James Coburn movies Our Man Flint and In Like Flint.
- Stuffed into a Locker: A recurring nerdy kid who always gets picked on by the bullies, and the goodies too.
- Super Hero
- Super Hero Origin: 'Mother of All Tigres'.
- Also the episode that reveals Maria was once a superhero.
- Talkingthe Monsterto Death: At one point, Frida manages to make a skeleton bandido fall apart, just by reminding it that it has no flesh or muscles, or anything at all to even keep it upright.
- The Last Straw: In "Fool Speed Ahead", when Tigre and Puma Loco land on the roof, the roof creaks rather ominously
Manny: This roof doesn't look too sturdy.
Grandpapi: Ah, watchu' talking about? It's fine.
A butterfly lands on Tigre's ear, and the entire roof collapses beneath them.
- Theme Naming: The superpowered characters who do not have a Spanish word in their names and/or aren't named after an animal can be counted on one hand. All of the Rivera men we've seen so far (good, neutral, or evil) are named after a big cat of some kind.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Frida is often goading Manny into doing bad things. Her dad thinks it's the other way round.
- Third-Person Person - The Chipotles.
- Trademark Favorite Food - Churros to Frida.
- Rodolfo has been seen with mass amounts of grapefruit on more than one occasion.
- Transformation Name Announcement: Pretty much everyone.
- Manny/Tigre: EEEEL TIGRE!
- Rodolfo/White Pantera: WHIIIITE PANTERA!
- Puma Loco: PUMAAAA LOCO!
- Tsundere: Zoe Aves/Black Cuervo pretty much sums it up.
Black Cuervo: You're so stupid. I hate you! How come you never call me?
- Her entire family is like this. Zoe likes/hates Manny, her mother likes/hates Rodolfo and her grandmother likes/hates Grandpapi.
- Zoe's mother hates being reminded that Rodolfo is the one who broke up with her.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Sergio, Diego/Dr. Chipotle Jr., and Frida. A whole episode was dedicated to this.
- Two-Teacher School
- The Undead: Sartana and her skeletal Bandito minions.
- Unholy Matrimony: Lady Gobbler came this close to marrying Puma Loco, only for him to leave her at the altar. Later, he would try this with Sartana of the Dead, but it became clear their views on his family were too disparate and he called the wedding off.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Sergio seemed to be fairly nice, albeit childish and naīve, before being unintentionally but severely humiliated by Manny. After that is when he swore vengeance and created his Seņor Siniestro alter-ego.
- This also might be the case with Toshiro, given he went from super nice and polite to violent and revenge-hungry when he found out Manny and Frida tricked him.
- Vanity License Plate: The plate on Grandpapi's racecar reads SPR MCHO
- Variable-Length Chain: El Tigre's clawed hands become attached via chains that allows him to fight from a distance or use them as grappling hooks. The length of the chains depends on the plot.
- Verbal Tic: El Oso does this a lot, mang.
- Villain Protagonist: Grandpapi/Puma Loco.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The Golden Eagle Twins.
- Spoofed by the Cactus Kid; he has such good publicity in his hometown precisely because he's a villain.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: Black Cuervo and Voltura, for Manny and Rodolfo respectively.
- Vitriolic Best Friends : Sergio/Seņor Siniestro and Diego/Doctor Chipotle Jr; they are in love with Frida, and will often fight over her, but, this detail aside, they're the best of friends, to the point Diego is the only person who knows Seņor Siniestro's secret identity.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World
- Wax On, Wax Off: Trying to get out of doing chores, Manny tricked wannabe hero Albino Burrito into doing them thinking it was hero training. Then all he learned during the chores was indeed useful to defeat a rampaging robot built by Puma Loco.
- We Can Rule Together
- We Will Meet Again
- We Used to Be Friends: The Titanium Titan to Rodolfo. And the Aves girls to the Riveras with romantic overtones.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: El Cucharon's spoon telekinesis powers. Subverted when he takes a level in badass and uses them for good.
- What the Hell, Hero?: White Pantera calls out his favorite Super Team (who thinks White Pantera is pathetic) for using his son as bait. Instead of feeling guilty and apologizing for what they did, they wanted (rather, begged) White Pantera to join them for destroying the monster, realizing they were wrong about him.
- Also, he's mortified when he learns that Manny pretended to like Black Cuervo to get intel on the Flock of Fury's plans.
White Pantera: You took advantage of a lady's feelings? UNCLEAN!
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Lampshaded at one point. Dr Chipotle Jr is using a remote to control the latest Monster of the Week and it's kicking Manny's butt in a straight fight. Frida, who is standing right next to Chipotle, eventually decides to "do this the lazy man's way" and just knocks the remote out of Chipotle's hand.
- Wild Card: Manny/El Tigre
- With Friends Like These... : Frida often acts as Manny's mischievous conscience , convincing him to do the 'funny thing' that, more often than not, isn't the right thing to do; her reckless behavior and low attention deficit also gets him into many problems. On the other hand, Manny, unwittingly, many times gets Frida injured since, after all, she's a normal human trying to keep up with a superhero's adventures.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The first El Tigre and Plata Peligrosa. Can possibly happen to Manny in the future too.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Seņor Siniestro.
- World of Ham: Oh yes.
- Yandere: Sofia
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Golden Leon speaks like this. One could say he's simply speaking in old-fashioned Spanish, but even so.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Frida and her unseen grandmother. Chief Suarez has blue hair too (as seen in his youth) but he dyes it black.
- A lot of the background characters also have unnatural hair colors.
- You Need a Breath Mint: Played for laughs by Grandpapi, who says this before he and Rodolfo are (seemingly) about to be eaten by a giant monster.